Robert K. Ressler (1937-2013) was a supervisory special agent of the FBI as a reserve colonel in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) before retiring. He later served as the director of Forensic Behavioral Services, a business dedicated to training, learning, consulting, and expert witness testimony. He is the author of Whoever Fights Monsters and the inspiration for one of the main characters in the Netflix Original Series Mindhunter.Tom Shachtman is the co-author with Robert Ressler of Whoever Fights Monsters and Justice is Served. He's also the author of several books of history, including How the French Saved America.
The success of Silence of the Lambs has readers fascinated with serial killers. ``New applicants to the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit are taking Jodie Foster's character as a role model,'' notes Ressler, who was consulted for the movie but felt it should have been more realistic. The book is an informative and insightful account of Ressler's 30-year FBI career and the development of the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. Ressler's numerous interviews with convicted killers (e.g., David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy), use of behavioral sciences principles, and many years of detective experience have given him an uncanny ability to ``read'' a crime scene and develop a criminal profile of the offender. His involvement in multiple serial killer investigations gives the reader an insider's view into police work. This book is an entertaining alternative to Eric W. Hickey's Serial Murderers and Their Victims ( Wadsworth, 1991) and Joel Norris's Serial Killers (Doubleday, 1988). Recommended for general readers and true crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.-- Robert Hodder, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland Lib., St. John's
Former FBI agent Ressler ( Sexual Homicide ) coined the term ``serial killer'' in the 1970s. Writing with Schachtman ( Skyscraper Dreams ), he recounts in straightforward, fact-filled style his interviews with such infamous murderers as Edmund Kemper, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, William Heirens and Ted Bundy. Onetime head of the FBI's Criminal Personality Research Project, Ressler corrects the misleading, romanticized criminal profiles found in the novels of Thomas Harris and Mary Higgins Clark; recalls how he compiled his ground-breaking, close-to-the-mark profiles of actual criminals who were later apprehended; and tells how he worked with mental-health professionals to explore killers' personality traits. Before Ressler, the FBI knew surprisingly little about dangerous criminals. His quest--catching and understanding criminals--absorbs and unsettles the reader, placing true crime in the real world. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
"The real thing . . . Absolutely mesmerizing." --Ann Rule"A true crime bonanza." --Kirkus"An invaluable book for anyone who wants to understand serial murder." --Joseph Wambaugh